Healthy eating

Whole-school ideas

A whole-school approach to food goes beyond teaching in the classroom and lunch-time. A good school food culture helps children develop healthy eating habits so they can live healthier, longer lives.

Help improve school meals

Our healthy eating checklist is perfect for head teachers, and includes lots of great whole-school ideas for improving school meals — and increasing the number of children who eat them.

Yvonne Barnett, Head of School, Holy Trinity Primary School, Hackney

School leadership

"Healthy eating is a key part of our ethos around empowerment. To be prepared for learning, pupils need to be well-rested, well-fed and properly nourished."

Yvonne Barnett, Head of School, Holy Trinity Primary School, Hackney, London

Create a school recipe book

Include recipes from children, parents, carers, staff and other members of your local community. You could sell the book to raise money for cooking equipment.

Set up a breakfast club

Breakfast clubs are a great way for your pupils to start the day — improving their health and nutrition, ability to socialise, attendance and punctuality. So, try setting one up.

Creating pupil leaders

Creating leadership roles and getting pupils more involved can help them take more ownership of their learning and become more responsible, not only for their own health but also for the health of their family by creating positive pester power.

Get growing

Studies have shown children are far more likely to eat fruit and vegetables they have grown themselves. Try growing food on the school grounds, encouraging the children to look after it and then harvest it. Your pupils can then eat it or sell it in the school shop.

Schools in Bath and North East Somerset share practical tips to help embed cooking, growing and farm visits into the curriculum.

Make a cooking display

Display lots of photographs of children cooking, as well as images of their final dishes in the dining hall or entrance hall/foyer.

Engaging families and the school community

Involving families and your whole school community, from governors to local business to community leaders, can create a supportive two-way conversation for sharing ideas and inspiration.

Set up a cookery club and get parents to help

Set up a club to help teach children, and their parents, how easy it is to cook healthy and tasty meals. You could also produce a healthy cookbook with the club's favourite healthy recipes.

Breakfast club initiative helps improve School's Ofsted rating

Be inspired

Need more ideas? Take a look at examples of what other schools are doing to encourage children to eat well.